This was Nadal's first Grand Slam title since he won his ninth French Open in 2014.
Telling Words: "For the first time, I cried after winning a match". As the 2017 edition at Roland Garros began, Nadal's drought without a Grand Slam title was stretching to three full years.
In the final, Puerta served for the fourth set while leading 5-4.
In the first set, Nadal won on 82 percent of his first serves and 67 percent of his second serves.
Wawrinka had been riding a 10-match winning streak before he ran into Nadal.
"From the beginning I didn't play my best tennis". "I have 10 trophies here and without him none of them would have been possible so many, many thanks for everything". "But of course, if he wins Sunday, it will be very special, incredible". While the Swiss was not guilty of tanking by any means, his frustration was evident by a racket-smashing episode as Nadal raced to a two-set lead.
Telling Words: "He kind of wears you out or wears you down. You are always going to be in my heart". "The doubts, I think, are good, because the doubts give you the possibility to work with more intensity, with more humility, and accepting that you need to keep working hard to improve things", he told a post-match news conference.
Telling Words: "Roger, I'm sorry".
Nadal was shown a montage of his 10 victories before the trophy presentation and said the historic nature of the triumph added to his satisfaction.
Ward celebrates big win while Kovalev plans protest
Much like the first bout, Kovalev and Ward battled at a grueling pace through the first seven rounds in another razor close fight. It led to bitter feelings on both sides - Kovalev feeling he was robbed, and Ward feeling he got no credit for the victory.
Nadal is no longer the 19-year-old who won the French Open in his debut in 2005, wearing long white pirate shorts, his flowing locks wrapped by a white headband, his sleeveless shirt revealing bulging biceps.
Bjorn Borg, the pokerfaced Swede who was the best men's claycourt player in history until Nadal's emergence, dropped only 32 games en route to the 1978 French Open title. "It's a grand slam, but it's the same grand slam".
Telling Words: "Rafael was very nervous in the locker room". Hard to compare to other places.
Rafael Nadal's record now at French Open stands at a staggering 79-2. He's the best player on the circuit this year and has chances there. The Spaniard, who avenged his defeat to Wawrinka in the 2014 Australian Open final, saluted his Swiss rival's remarkable rise since that time.
Telling Words: "When I think of all that Rafael has done, I don't understand it". As Wawrinka's backhand hit the net, the Spaniard collapsed in a heap, probably more from after churning out one of the most dominant displays in recent memory. "No one (can) go on the court thinking he has no pressure".
Key Stat: Nadal's record fifth French Open title in a row. "I am happy. I am enjoying every week and I want to continue and I'm gonna try to keep working hard to try to enjoy more lovely weeks".
The second set was much more slanted toward Nadal from the onset. He was on his way. He won the tournament again in 2008, 2009 and 2011. For sure this score wasn't good, the match wasn't good, but at the end of the day there's a lot of positives to take from the last few weeks.
Key Stat: Nadal faced only one break point, which he saved. He creates doubts that you can not have if you want to beat him. - Wawrinka, who had been 3-0 in major finals. He conceded only 35 games. Relentless as ever, he made only 12 unforced errors and held all 12 of his service games.
"It has been a while since I played a good Wimbledon and after what happened with my knees in 2012 it has been tougher and tougher to compete on grass", he said.
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